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Old 03-30-2012, 04:41 AM   #1
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Mono or Multi Varietal Olive Oils & Origins?

Friday 10.30am - Bari, Puglia, Italy.

Good Morning,

Firstly, it is an absolutely gorgeous morning ... as I am on Tablet, and just leaving the Airport, I could not resist checking in with D.C.

This topic is an interesting one, as there are uncountable varieties of Olive Oil as Italy and Spain are enormous producers of this liquid gold ... liquid green ...

Which olive oils do you employ and how do you food pair ? Where are your olive oils from ?

Looking forward to hearing from all of you ... Have a super weekend.

When in Spain, I sauté with Borges ( www.borges.com or www.borges.es ) which is a relatively reasonably priced mono varietal 100% arbequina and it is very light. For salads, I prefer a E.V. 100% Hojiblanca Mono Varietal that is green verses gold, and use Girona, Catalonia oils or Navarra and La Rioja oils from northern Spain. I enjoy the thicker varieties from Jaén and Cordóba, Andalusia for bread dipping and Salmorejo.

In Puglia, I use Puglia D.O. E.V. olive oils, as Puglia is a producer and perhaps Sicilian which are stunning too. I also like E.V. from Greece.

Look forward to hearing from you.
M.C.


Margi Cintrano.

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Old 03-30-2012, 06:50 AM   #2
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so many of our olive oils in the US are "over" processed. Stores carry name brands, but these have been shown to dilute with lesser oils. California is producing some fine oils now and I am trying some mono varietals. Currently I am pleased with OlioCarli, an Italian company that sells directly to the consumer. It is obviously a blend of several cultivars, but skillfully done and meets the test of mouth feel and throat tickle. The taste is nicely fruity without being sweet.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:00 AM   #3
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I grew up on oils from Italy. but a couple of years ago I decided to try some other countries. I have always found the oils from Italy were somewhat bitter. I decided to try some from other counties including the US. First I went with Goya from Spain. It was not as bitter as the Colavita Italian. I purchased very small bottles as I didn't want to be stuck with a large bottle if I didn't like it. Then I went with a Greek oil. The name escapes me at the moment. My DIL is from Albania and told me which brand her and her mother use. Much better. My method of testing was to take some seasoned croutons and dip them in warmed oil then some Parm or Romano cheese. A favorite snack. I equated it with "don't cook with a wine you wouldn't drink." Don't use an oil that you wouldn't use right out of the bottle on your cold food. I find that heating the oil to 'hot' alters the taste. Just warming it brings out the good parts of it.

Then I tried an American out of California. I find that the bottles are much smaller than their import rivals. And more expensive. The flavor was good on most of them, but left a somewhat unpleasant after taste on the roof of my mouth. Something was missing.

I don't cook with EV. I use a just a Virgin Oil. I save the veggie oils for baking cakes and other goodies. A favorite dish of mine is a thick 2" pork chop stuffed with a bread and fresh mushroom stuffing. I ask my butcher to leave a good thick edge of fat. I sear it in olive oil on both sides and then finish it in the oven. With the rendered fat and olive oil mixed, there is a nice crust on it and you can taste the olive oil. I also use the olive oil to hold the stuffing mixture together. This has always been one of my 'company's coming to dinner' recipes and is a big hit. One chop per person is more than enough.

One Easter I talked my daughter out of making a crown pork roast and doing the pork chops instead. Only we made a crab and lobster meat stuffing. A melt in your mouth dish. A lot of my Non-Italian American friends wouldn't dream of cooking seafood in olive oil. In countries where it is the national oil, they cook everything with the olive oil. I find that it adds that "something extra" to a dish.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:02 AM   #4
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Here in Greece i use only extra virgin olive oil and for my salads i use olive oil with herbs that i prepare by myself. I place chili pepper, black pepper, rosemary in a jar with oil, or lemon cinnamon and garlic in another. I take care to always have different scents and aromas in my salads.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:26 AM   #5
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Since we use 1.5 or more liters of olive oil per month we normally use the < $19 per liter Colavita 'EVOO'.
For special occasions we use the ~$18 per half liter Columela (Spanish) EVOO.
Liquids like EVOO and Jelinek Slivovitz can eat up a large portion of one's food expenditures; add some $30 per pound prime beef and your food bill can get pretty high.
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Old 03-30-2012, 08:37 AM   #6
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I use Bertolli EVOO for finishing. I have switched to grapeseed oil for cooking.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:15 AM   #7
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Thanks for informative and lovely post Addie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
I grew up on oils from Italy. but a couple of years ago I decided to try some other countries. I have always found the oils from Italy were somewhat bitter. I decided to try some from other counties including the US. First I went with Goya from Spain. It was not as bitter as the Colavita Italian. I purchased very small bottles as I didn't want to be stuck with a large bottle if I didn't like it. Then I went with a Greek oil. The name escapes me at the moment. My DIL is from Albania and told me which brand her and her mother use. Much better. My method of testing was to take some seasoned croutons and dip them in warmed oil then some Parm or Romano cheese. A favorite snack. I equated it with "don't cook with a wine you wouldn't drink." Don't use an oil that you wouldn't use right out of the bottle on your cold food. I find that heating the oil to 'hot' alters the taste. Just warming it brings out the good parts of it.

Then I tried an American out of California. I find that the bottles are much smaller than their import rivals. And more expensive. The flavor was good on most of them, but left a somewhat unpleasant after taste on the roof of my mouth. Something was missing.

I don't cook with EV. I use a just a Virgin Oil. I save the veggie oils for baking cakes and other goodies. A favorite dish of mine is a thick 2" pork chop stuffed with a bread and fresh mushroom stuffing. I ask my butcher to leave a good thick edge of fat. I sear it in olive oil on both sides and then finish it in the oven. With the rendered fat and olive oil mixed, there is a nice crust on it and you can taste the olive oil. I also use the olive oil to hold the stuffing mixture together. This has always been one of my 'company's coming to dinner' recipes and is a big hit. One chop per person is more than enough.

One Easter I talked my daughter out of making a crown pork roast and doing the pork chops instead. Only we made a crab and lobster meat stuffing. A melt in your mouth dish. A lot of my Non-Italian American friends wouldn't dream of cooking seafood in olive oil. In countries where it is the national oil, they cook everything with the olive oil. I find that it adds that "something extra" to a dish.

I had the wonderful opportunity to taste test several Spanish ecological organic olive oils for a magazine article a few months ago. Fascinating subject ...

Very lovely post. Thanks again.
Margi.
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:17 AM   #8
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How are the California olive oils ? Could you tell us more, and how do they compare with Spanish or Italian or Greek ? Which olives are employed ? and which are most popular ?

Thanks so much for post.
Margi.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:59 AM   #9
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I make an honest effort to buy local food products whenever I can. Unfortunately, we don't yet grow olives in the US upper midwest. Maybe that will change one day after global warming, lol.

So, in the meantime, "local" for me is California oil. The one I've been buying lately is from Sciabica, one of the oldest producers in the US. It's a varietal Manzanillo oil, and has a real robust flavor that I like. The price isn't that expensive. It runs $35 for a half gallon.

Just for a change of pace, I also occasionally buy Italian oil online from Olio2Go.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:46 PM   #10
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Margi's innocent question just cost me $60 to sample a variety of 500ml. bottles of Picual, Hojiblanca, and Arbequina EVOOs. Hopefully the purchase will help me cut down on my burro consumption.
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